It’s my Parting Shot to discuss the Memorial Cup woes of W-H-L champions…
It has now been three consecutive C-H-L championship tournaments in which the freshly-minted Western Hockey League champs have gone 0-3. The W-H-L winner is on a 10-game losing streak, dating back to 2015 when the Kelowna Rockets got to the final, only to lose to the Oshawa Generals.
That is totally befuddling and mystifying!
Even the Swift Current Broncos couldn’t win a game…when they only had to travel two hours by bus to get to Regina for this year’s event!
The question is why? Or what’s wrong with the W-H-L?
Is it their lengthy season or its playoff format? Is the Dub so much more competitive than the other two leagues that the eventual winner is more of a survivor than a champion?
Bing, bing, bing to all of the above.
The W-H-L is taking a step with regards to length of season, reducing the regular campaign from 72 games to 68 for next season…the same number of games as their counterpart leagues in Ontario and Quebec.
The playoff format needs a change as well…even if it does promote division rivalries and is cheaper on teams when it comes to travel for the first two rounds. The problem this season was the three best teams in the Dub were all from the East Division…and they battled each other through the first two rounds! Crazy! Go back to the top eight from each conference…as it was before 2015!
That may not solve all the problems…but it can’t hurt!!
That’s my Parting Shot. I’m Les Lazaruk in Regina…